Recent BASHH guidelines state that patients should be directed to clear, accurate written or web-based information and this is often an auditable outcome. We stopped providing paper leaflets in 2016 as our electronic patient record (EPR) allows a link to web based patient information leaflet (PIL) to be sent by short message service (SMS). Our aim was to identify if this had improved uptake of written information.Methods
We identified 200 patients who received a positive chlamydia or gonorrhoea result and returned to clinic for treatment. Records were reviewed for offer and uptake of PIL.Results
41 patients (20.5%) were sent a PIL link, 20 (10%) were documented to have declined and 139 (69.5%) had no documentation regarding PIL.Discussion
Provision of links to PIL was low in this patient group. This compares to our 2012 audit of chlamydia, a time of paper records, where 59% accepted a leaflet. Our EPR shows the link has been sent but requires free text to record offer or refusal, so the actual offer may have been higher and not documented. Half had the name of the infection specified in a results SMS and therefore many may have already sought web based information prior to treatment. Plans to improve our documentation of offer of PIL include consideration of a PIL link with the initial positive SMS. Patients are increasingly likely to access information online, sometimes prior to attendance and BASHH may wish to consider this in their guideline recommendations and auditable outcomes.